#PA8: Fitzpatrick the Moderate? Not so much.

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s campaign website is all about the concept of political “moderation.” That’s probably because PA-8, the district he represents, is a swing district that President Obama carried in ’08 and ’12, with an 11,759 democratic voter registration advantage that has changed parties 5 times since the 1980’s. A district like PA-8 simply wouldn’t tolerate a tea-party republican. Mike Fitzpatrick may not appear to be such a republican, to be sure, but that isn’t the whole story, his votes are.

He might not always vote with the (R)’s, but when it counts, he does. He voted with the republicans to usher in a government shutdown over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He voted for the horrible Farm Bill (HR 2642), which gutted the food stamp program for over 1.7 million people across 15 states. He endorsed voter suppression tactics with his votes to require photo ID for voting in federal elections. He also has a terrible record on women’s health & choice issues, rated at 0% by both Planned Parenthood and NARAL . This just scratches the surface.

One would think that a moderate would tend to stay away from inflammatory language, such as, say, accusing President Obama of committing treason if elected to a second term, something Rep. Fitzpatrick did at a fundraiser in April of 2012. I guess the fundraising opportunity was too great to pass up.

If you’re still not sold that Fitzpatrick’s record isn’t pretty notable conservative, consider this. His voting has actually been getting more conservative through his last term, moving from voting with the Republican majority 81.0% of the time in 2011, to 88.4% of the time in 2013.

The fact is that at a glance Rep. Fitzpatrick looks pretty moderate, the kind of rare-breed moderate republican that many thought went extinct years ago. Primary Colors even lists him with a +10.6 progressive value. The truth is even his “moderation” is further right than can be tolerated, and while Fitzpatrick can’t be counted among the worst of the House Republican Caucus, a district that can (and has) elected solid progressive candidates should rally around the Democratic nominee, Kevin Strouse, and do so again. Mike Fitzpatrick wants to herald his moderation, but his rhetoric and most of his voting record point staunchly to the opposite direction. PA-8 is a highly competitive race, and presents one of the democrats’ best chances to pick up a seat in the House. If you live in the district, or even near it, get out there and knock on some doors!

This entry was posted in Elections, US House.

One Response to #PA8: Fitzpatrick the Moderate? Not so much.

  1. phillydem says:

    My theory is that R’s like Fitzpatrick who previously served in operational jobs like county commissioner that are primarily non-partisan continue to benefit from that “moderate” reputation with voters long after it’s deserved. Voters just tend to remember that Ftizgerald was a good county commissioner and things got done. They don’t really pay much attention to the actual voting record in congress at all.

    It’s the same with Gerlach and Dent, they were moderate state legislators, not overly partisan at a time before the legislature was taken over by more of the local rightwingers. The voters in their districts remembered them as they were, not for what each became after being elected to Congress.